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How Often Should You Feed A Puppy?

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There are so many questions when it comes to puppy food.

A question I just received the other day was “How often should you feed a puppy?

Here’s a short list of some of the other common questions I receive from friends, family, and comments on this blog:

  • What to feed a puppy?
  • How much to feed a puppy?
  • How to feed a puppy?
  • Can my puppy eat human food?
  • What foods shouldn’t my puppy eat?

The list could go on and on and that’s just the what, why, how’s of feeding your puppy.

In fact, here’s another question I received from a commenter on this very blog a few days ago:

My boyfriend and I think he wakes up hungry but know we should not feed him. What is the latest time we should feed him so he won’t wake up hungry. We feed him really good during the day. -Megan

Lucky for us Guide Dogs of America sends us home with some very helpful guidelines answering several of the above questions including how often should you feed a puppy.

Puppy Feeding Schedule

How Often Should You Feed A Puppy
Dublin waits patiently for his food

As a guide dog puppy raiser, we get to bring home a new puppy when he is approximately 7 weeks of age.

That same day we received a packet of information and one of the flyers in that packet contains a puppy feeding schedule.

We actually wrote about puppy feeding schedules about 4 years ago but thought it might be a nice time to update with the latest GDA information.

In fact, I didn’t even realize the schedule had changed until a couple of months before I turned in Dublin.

So here’s the latest and greatest puppy feeding schedule for our puppies in training:


When you first receive your 8 week old puppy you will be feeding him/her 3/4 of a cup 3 times a day (Purina Pro Plan Puppy food for Large Breed) soaked in hot water until it softens.  Keep doing this for about 1 week, then taper off on time of soaking so eventually he/she will be eating dry food with a little water.

As your puppy grows over the next couple of months you will need to adjust the feeding schedule based on your puppies growth. (Probably up to 1 cup 3x a day)

At 4 months you will increase the food gradually and you will switch to Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice Adult food, feeding twice a day, an average of 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups twice a day.

Those are the guidelines set forth by Guide Dogs of America.

So far the school has changed our puppy food 3 times since I’ve been a raiser.  When I raised Stetson I fed him Canidae.

Derby got to eat Natural Balance.

Dublin was eating Purina Pro Plan and Apache was eating the same.

A Few Things I’ve Learned About Feeding Your Puppy

Lab puppy wants to know when it's time to eat
A Labs Only Question

Of course, I’ve learned a lot over the years as a puppy raiser.

Every puppy is different and will require a different amount of food based on many different things like amount of exercise, metabolism, the size of your puppy, and the age of your puppy.

One thing I’ve learned is that puppies require more food than adult dogs.

I scaled back on the amount of food I feed both Linus and Stetson to 1 cup twice a day

Both Stetson and Linus started gaining a little too much weight.

On the other hand, Apache eats more food than any of my past puppies.

He’s currently eating 2 1/2 cups in the morning and 2 cups in the evening for a total of 4 1/2 cups.

I may even need to add to that as he’s looking a little thinner than when he first got here.

By the way, if you’re wondering about how often you should feed your puppy and what is the best food for your puppy the best thing to do is consult your veterinarian.

Another great resource is to check out the Dog Food Advisor website.

They have a ton of reviews, but I really like looking through their comment section to see what regular users like you and I think of different dog and puppy foods.

What’s your answer to the question of how often should you feed a puppy?

Tell us about it in the comment section below.

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. You should check with your vet on your puppy’s food and water intake. All of the service dog puppies that belong to the school are on the same food, but some have allergies or other issues with the food and are often moved to a different type of food to help with any stomach or allergy issues.

  2. My grandson has a 9 week old retriever pup. He drinks so much water until he almost pops if you let him. His stool is soft snake like. He is only fed twice a day and the same food as all the other dogs! He is at a school where they train retrievers!
    He said his pup hasn’t liked the food however had to adjust because they feed everyone the same food! Any suggestions about the water and food/type and amount Thank you

  3. Congratulations on your new puppy! When our guide dogs puppies are 8 weeks old we feed them 3 times a day. The most important thing is to try and stick to a feeding schedule. We usually feed our pups at 7am, 12pm, and 5pm. We do not leave food out during the day. Good luck with your training!

  4. I have an 8 week old puppy and have to work during the day. What times would you recommend feeding her? Should I leave food out during the day when I am at work?

  5. Congratulations on your new puppy! The best thing to do is to check with your vet to see what food would be best for your puppy and how much you should feed him. Also, every puppy is a little different so even after you get a recommendation on how much to feed him you should still keep a close eye on your puppy to make sure he is not overweight or underweight. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your new puppy!

  6. I brought home an 8 weeks old poppy and I don’t know how often I should feed him. I never had a dog before, and he is a little sick with a cough called Kenner cough. He is on antibiotics and I’m feeding him at 7am and at 5pm. Is that too little food? Please help!

  7. When we feed our puppies the most important thing for us is keeping them on a schedule which helps us understand their potty schedule. If you have questions about feeding your may want to consult your vet. Good luck with your training!

  8. I recently bought 2 male puppies,i just liked them but never had ones before, and actually had kittens and raised them previously- i don’t even know their breed but they are little dogs that don’t grow so big and I got them in China – I have troubles about times to feed, should I feed them at dawn if they woke up ??

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